Man sues Burger King after they revoked his 'free food for life' promise
The English language is full of beautiful phrases, but is there any phrase that can bring you greater happiness than "free food for life"? I'll answer that: no, there isn't. Food, of course, is awesome, and when you don't have to pay for it, that layer of removed guilt unlocks a new level of flavour, in my opinion.
But - much like a television show cut down in its prime, or a date you were really into unexpectedly dumping you - having free food unexpectedly taken away from you is something you take a while to be okay with again.
It's a feeling one man out in Oregon is very familiar with, after Burger King reneged on their promise of free food. So upset is 50-year-old Curtis Brooner, he's actually suing Burger King to the tune of around $9,000 - the price of a Whopper meal a week for a little over 20 years.
Let's start at the beginning: back on December 15, Brooner walked into a bathroom still located inside a Burger King in Portland, and walked out several minutes later. Brooner says he reeked of urine, and that's because he ended up getting locked in a very confined, smelly space.
"It’s the kind of place where you hold your breath: Go in and get out of there as fast as you can," said Brooner of the bathroom he ended up locked in, speaking to The Oregonian. "That wasn’t an option for me." In the lawsuit, Brooner explains exactly how he got out of that bathroom.
"Brooner had just finished a meal and stepped into the single-user restroom. When he tried to leave, the lock on the door jammed. After several minutes of trying to get the door to open, he called the phone number on his receipt. Several employees responded, ultimately handing him a hard plastic-edged card and later a fly-swatter and instructions to squeeze it through the crack between the door and the door frame to move the locking mechanism."
The lawsuit says that Brooner cut his hand trying to escape, and eventually, a locksmith had to be called. Initially too shaken to leave the restaurant, Brooner says that the manager on duty apologised to him, and made a verbal agreement that he could eat at the Burger whenever he wanted, for free.
So, Brooner did, visiting the restaurant almost every day for the next two weeks. But on December 28, the 50-year-old walked into the restaurant, and was told that they could no longer honour that particular agreement, as it wasn't cleared with district management.
So Brooner decided to sue the Burger King for $9,026 - which is one $7.89 Whopper meal a week for the next 22 years. "They created an unsafe environment," Brooner said, adding in his lawsuit that the stall "showed signs of damage caused by other people who had previously been locked inside the bathroom."
"Someone could have had a medical situation. You could have had a fatality. You could have had a child locked in there, someone elderly. They are lucky it was me."
Court records also state that Brooner was convicted in 1994 of first-degree sexual abuse, for which he spent six and a half years in prison, and has to register as a sex offender for the rest of his lfie. Brooner, however, insists that the offences were 25 years ago, and that he's lived a law-abiding life since then.